Martiangear Astronaut (Fabric) Gaming Chair Review
Martiangear is a new gaming lifestyle brand in Singapore. They are a new kid on the block when it comes to gaming chairs. This is after Secretlab, APOL, Royale Ergonomics, and many others.
Besides gaming chairs, they will have a few upcoming gaming products in their pipeline, like gaming tables and gaming peripherals.
You would probably have guessed that the name Martiangear is inspired by space travel. According to Wikipedia, a Martian is an inhabitant of the planet Mars or a human colonist on Mars. So the names of their gaming chairs are related to space travel.
Martiangear has five types of gaming chairs, out of which two are mesh-based. Astronaut, Interstellar, Supernova are cushion-based gaming chairs while Starfighter and Starship are meshed-based gaming chairs.
The difference between Astronaut, Interstellar, and Supernova is the size. The Astronaut is meant for a smaller built person who is up to 180cm / 130kg, while Interstellar and Supernova are meant for a medium and large built person who is up to 198cm / 181kg.
Think of it as small, medium, and large gaming chairs. Regardless of the size, the price is fixed at S$488 (S$438 after discount).
The astronaut is available in both Fabric (Grey) and Vegan Leather (Black, Blue), while Interstellar and Supernova are only available in Vegan Leather and one color (Black).
Starfighter and Starship both support height up to 185cm and weight up to 136kg. Starfighter is only available in Black and retails for S$548 (S$498 after discount), while Starship is available in Chrome, Red, Black, Matte, and retails for S$748 (S$698 after discount).
Personally, I would consider the Starfighter and Starship an ergonomic chair rather than a gaming chair. To me, I would associate/visualized a gaming chair to be non-mesh, body-hugging, and the ability to recline close to 180°.
I would recommend going down to Martiangear’s showroom at Spaceship, 100 Eunos Avenue 7, Singapore 409572, to try the chair so that you can pick one that is the most suitable for you.
You can use the discount code LESTER at checkout to enjoy S$50 off and it will come with a FREE Cleaning Foam (worth S$25) that can be used for vegan leather, fabric, and mesh). And of course, delivery and assembly are free.
Choosing The Chair
A bigger chair isn’t always a better chair. Having tried Astronaut, Interstellar, and Supernova. I chose Astronaut because it is more body-hugging for me. I am 175cm / 72kg. Interstellar and Supernova is just way too big for me. For Supernova, the seat base is so big, and you can even sit with your legs crossed.
Normally when you buy a gaming chair, the biggest decision is not choosing the size, but whether to get PU Leather or Fabric.
After thinking it through thoroughly, I decided to get Fabric instead of PU Leather. Both have their own pros and cons.
PU Leather is cooling because it doesn’t absorb heat. It is easy to wipe when you have spilled liquid onto it, leaving almost no stain behind. Martiangear gives you 3 years peel free warranty, and they will even do the reupholstery onsite, so the downtime for your chair is reduced.
However, due to Singapore’s hot and humid climate, the PU leather will definitely peel unless, of course, you are in an air-conditioned room 24/7. To me, it is like a ticking time bomb, and I’m not too fond of that feeling. Also, sweat on PU leather feels very uncomfortable to me.
Fabric is warmer because it retains heat, and when you spilled any liquid, it will definitely stain the Fabric. In fact, if your thighs perspire due to the warmth of the seat, it will stain the fabric, making it yellowish.
Hence, I prefer a darker fabric rather than Grey, but Martiangear only has one color for their fabric option so far.
The good thing about Fabric is it doesn’t peel, and it feels softer and more comfortable when your body is in contact with it.
Compared to peeling, I find stains are more tolerable and not a ticking time bomb, so I decided to go with the fabric option.
Martiangear’s gaming chair was launched in late December 2020, so when the delivery guy is at my house to assemble the chair, he told me that it is his first time assembling it.
Despite being his first built, it took him only twenty minutes to assemble it. I think with more customers, he probably can do it in less than ten minutes.
The Astronaut is assembled from ten different parts in twelve steps. Martiangear even includes a huge instruction poster inside the packaging.
There are no extra charges for delivery and assembly. It is free.
The armrest is 4D because it can move up/down, forward/backward, and swivel left/right. Each of the respective movement has its own button lock, so it will always stay in place to prevent unnecessary movement of the armrest.
There is some cube-like texture on the armrest, which I find a little weird and doesn’t align with the chair’s overall design. I prefer it to be plain.
The left control on the bottom of the seat is for tilt-lock, while the right control allows you to adjust the seat height.
The 5-point base is made of metal, and the castor wheels roll around smoothly. No complaints there.
Astronaut comes with backrest reclining of up to 155°. The lever is located on the right of the chair. The lever’s design is smooth and round and goes well with the overall design of the chair. In fact, it replicates the lever found on most car’s seats really well. Personally, I find it nicer looking than Secretlab’s one.
The two cutouts at the top of the chair are potential dust catchers. But the reason Martiangear still chooses to leave it there is to replicate the design of a racing car’s bucket seat where the two cutouts are for seatbelts.
Two pillows are provided with the Astronaut. One as a headrest and the other for the lumbar support.
I have removed the headrest pillow and using it as a neck pillow. The headrest pillow doesn’t go well with my sitting posture due to it being bulky.
Alternatively, you can also tie it around the two cutouts since the strap on the headrest pillow uses a bucket, and hence the strap can be detached.
The lumbar pillow occupies some space in the back area, and hence you will not experience the full “body-hugging.” If I do casual/leisure work, I will remove the lumbar pillow as I would be leaning totally back.
However, if I am doing more serious/intense work, my posture will be more upright instead of leaning back, and that is when I will use the lumbar pillow.
I find the Astronaut’s gaming chair cozy and comfortable due to its body-hugging design. I would say the racing car’s bucket seats inspire the design. Like any bucket seat, the cushion on the chair is firm, and its soft fabric texture is gentle on your skin.
The ability to recline the chair to almost flat is awesome, though you need to ensure you have enough space at the back. It is really comfortable lying almost flat on a chair.
In terms of ergonomics, I would say it still losses to ErgoTune Supreme (2020). Maybe gaming chairs are meant to be comfortable but not ergonomic? You can be comfortable but not ergonomic, case in point, leaning totally back against the backrest. You can be ergonomic but not comfortable, case in point, sitting upright without any backrest support.
It seems gaming chairs are designed to be sturdier with a firmer seat base and backrest than mesh-bash ergonomic chairs. There is an exception to this, the Herman Miller Aeron feels more solid than gaming chairs.
Priced at S$438 after discount, it is cheaper than Secretlab Omega with SoftWeave Fabric (S$509) and Royale Ergonomics Fabric (S$499) but more expensive than APOL Kraken Fabric (S$398).
Personally, I don’t think you can tell them apart if you are seated blindfolded. Specification wise, they are almost the same. I will not be surprised if the feeling after being seated is also the same.
Hence, the only deciding factor here is probably the brand, design, price, and warranty.
When it comes to brand and design, Secretlab wins, hands down. They have many collaborations and designs to choose from, but of course, the price is also higher.
Design is, again, subjective. I find after Secretlab, Martiangear would come in second place for design, though I still wish they have more colors for me to choose from for the fabric option.
Price-wise, APOL wins in this area as it is the cheapest.
Warranty-wise against peel if you choose PU leather, both Secretlab and Royale Ergonomics provide a 5-year extended warranty, Martiangear provides a 3-year warranty, while APOL provides a 2-year warranty.
As you probably can tell, Martiangear is in the middle. It is not the cheapest, nor is it the most expensive. So if you are looking at an alternative to Secretlab, you can consider Martiangear for the price and definitely the design.